Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen leads Rally de Portugal after setting the pace this evening in the short 3.36 km Lousada test.
Mikkelsen, who was also quickest in the shakedown this morning, completed the stage in 2 minutes 41.1 seconds, leaving him 0.5 seconds up on team-mate, Sebastien Ogier, while Jari-Matti Latvala was third, 0.3s further back. The result mirrored that of the shakedown with Volkswagen again ending up 1-2-3.
Drivers tackled the test two at a time, with Mikkelsen, Ogier and Latvala each winning their duels with Elfyn Evans, Mads Ostberg and Dani Sordo respectively.
“It was great fun, a great way to kick off the rally. A clean stage but really dusty and hard to see in places,” Mikkelsen told the official WRC site.
“It was okay but not easy though - there was a lot of dust and I braked way too early for the hairpin. Tomorrow will be the real start,” Ogier added.
Behind, Robert Kubica was fourth on his return to action after missing Rally Argentina, with Thierry Neuville, Kris Meeke, Ostberg, Martin Prokop, Sordo and Lorenzo Bertelli filling positions 5 through to 10.
The action now continues on Friday with six stages on the bill and a total competitive distance of 128.68 km.
SS2, the 27.53 km Ponte de Lima 1 test, is scheduled to start at 09.40 hours local time. Full itinerary for event available - HERE
2015 Rally de Portugal: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):
1. Andreas Mikkelsen
Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC 2m 41.1s
2. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 0.5s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 0.8s
4. Robert Kubica
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 1.4s
5. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 2.1s
6. Kris Meeke
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 2.2s
7. Mads Ostberg
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 2.3s
8. Martin Prokop
Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 2.6s
9. Dani Sordo
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 2.7s
10. Lorenzo Bertelli
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 2.8s
11. Elfyn Evans
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 3.3s
12. Ott Tanak
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 3.4s
13. Hayden Paddon
Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +0m 4.2s
WRC2 standings after Stage 1 (Top 3):
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah
Ford Fiesta RRC 2m 46.7s
2. Jari Ketomaa
Ford Fiesta R5 +0m 0.3s
3. Pontus Tidemand
Skoda Fabia R5 +0m 1.5s
M denotes Manufacturer entry
all times unofficial